Church gives to community
Central Christian Church of Ironton was organized on Nov. 11, 1867, when several people came together and 23 people said they would be charter members. On Jan. 1, 1868, they met for the purpose of incorporating in accordance with the laws of the State of Ohio.
On July 7, 1868, the trustees purchased a lot on which to build a church building at Third and Washington Streets. James H, Dodd was chosen to serve as minister on Sept. 16, 1868, at salary of $800 a year and was to serve the “Greenupburgh” church for one fourth of the salary.
On Aug. 17, 1870, the trustees authorized a $1,500 loan for the purpose of building a meeting house. During this time church services were held in the courthouse and in the homes of members. On June 4, 1871, the first services were held in the new church building. At the end for the year 86 were enrolled.
The records show that on April 16, 1893, David James was elected Sunday School Superintendent. It is interesting that at this time, 100 bushels of coal sold for $4.75 and wallpaper for the new church building cost $2.76. Also, “The hand of fellowship” was withdrawn from any member not living up to the doctrine of the church (II Thess. 3:6).
A new building at Fifth and Quincy streets was constructed and dedication was held on Jan. 5, 1908. As the Gospel was preached and taught in the building and the members did their part in sowing and watering the seed of God’s word, we see the records indicate on Easter sunday in 1919, there were 413 present. Then on May 25 of this year, a Sunday school attendance contest held with the Presbyterian Church, we find 742 were present and Central came out as the winner.
The church moved from Fifth and Quincy streets to 1541 S. Seventh St. in Ironton in 1975 (across from Ironton High School), when Glen Wheeler was serving as the pulpit minister.
Several have served as pulpit minister with the congregation. Some of the recent ministers were Glen Wheeler, Phil LeMaster, Keith Wise, Larry McAdams, Marshall Tyson, Brad Seevers, Jim Williams and Brent Baker. Dr. Jim Girdwood and Dr. Hoyt W. Allen Jr. served the congregation as interim ministers on several occasions. Currently, Willie Purdee is serving as senior minister, Zac Ray serves as minister of youth, Taylor Parnell serves as children’s ministry director and Jim Williams serves as administrative minister.
The congregation is self-governing and not part of any denomination. It strives to “speak where the Bible speaks, and remain silent where the Bible is silent.” They serve the Lord’s Supper on each Lord’s Day. They baptize believers by immersion. They strive to call Bible things by Bible names.
The congregation has several outreaches to the community, which includes the following:
1) Sundays: Sunday school for all ages and a staffed nursery, morning and evening worship services;
2) Wednesdays: Adult Bible classes at the church building and teen age youth groups, as well as several small groups in homes;
3) Daycare on weekdays from 6:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. to 100 plus youth with 12 workers;
4) Food pantry for those in need. They are currently distributing 8,000 pounds of food to 400 families on a monthly basis;
5) Sponsor a Girl Scout and a Boy Scout Troop as well as providing them a meeting place;
6) Host a yearly father-son banquet as well as a mother-daughter banquet. We recently had 94 ladies in attendance and 15 of our men who did the serving;
7) Host a “National Day Of Prayer” at Central’s flag pole annually (first Thursday in May 7 p.m.);
8) Provide Parking Space for many events of Ironton High School
9) Host “Three Score and More” (senior citizens luncheon) on a monthly basis;
10) Provide free office space and volunteers for the KYOWVA Evangelistic Association;
11) Provide transportation for youth to and from church camp activities at Howell’s Mill Christian Assembly;
12) Yearly host a fall festival in October
13) Each summer Central underwrites the cost of a weeklong Vacation Bible School;
14) Annually sponsor a youth Christmas program and Easter egg hunt;
15) Provide meeting space for the Women’s Garden Club;
16) Provide transportation annually to the Cincinnati Reds Ball Game;
17) Host the Tri-County Choir for Singspirations on a rotating basis;
18) Field is provided for Ironton Little League Football practice;
19) Until recently an art show and luncheon was hosted in the gym and lounge;
20) Also, until recently a field was provided for the Ironton High School Band practice.
Central Christian has always wanted to be a conservative body of believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, honoring him in one’s daily walk through life and seeking to restore New Testament Christianity.
Central invites the community of Ironton to worship and fellowship with them:
Worship services are each at 10:25 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. each Sunday.
Bible studies are at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays and at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.